Saturday, June 10, 2017

Shopping centres as living rooms

I'm been meaning to ask this out loud for about 6 months now:   who came up with the idea of making shopping malls into living rooms?

Honestly, the amount of trendy looking, living room-ish style furniture that has appeared in public spaces of the local large shopping mall in the last year or so is pretty astounding - and I'm not saying that I don't like the look of it, really.  It just strikes me as slightly odd.   I assume that it must be based on some research that shows that if you let people relax in a colourful high back chair, with a funny shaped coffee table in front of them, probably while they use their mobile phones to check up on Facebook, they'll end up buying more?

But we all know that retail rents are already astronomical in large Australian shopping centres - and my local one also seems to having a series of prominent departures of smaller retailers, perhaps due to leases that started when they opened the last extension about 5 or 6 years ago expiring.    So, you just have to wonder whether the cost of all these mini lounge rooms appearing every 30 metres or so down every walkway is really worth it.   (Not to mention the question of how often they will end up needing to be cleaned and/or replaced.)  The retailer tenants will end up paying for it, no doubt.

I'm guessing that the idea originated in America, or England, but it's a very distinctive change.

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